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ETX CLASSIC FEEDBACK
Last updated: 31 October 2010
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This page is for comments and user feedback about ETX telescopes. ETX models discussed on this page include the ETX-60/70/80/90/105/125 (EC, AT, BB, Premier Edition). This page also includes comments and feedback of a general nature. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to the ETX-90RA, DSX, and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.

Mike here: I am attempting to compile a listing of telescope dealers that are on Twitter and/or Facebook. I'll publish the list when I have some names. I know that OPT is on Facebook. If you know of others, drop me a note at etx@me.com. Include the dealer name and their Twitter/Facebook user ID. Thanks.
Subject:	ETX 125 8x25 finder FOV question
Sent:	Sunday, October 31, 2010 14:11:08
From:	Dave DiJulio (dkd998@yahoo.com)
I have been looking through the site but I have not been able to find
the FOV for the Meade 8x25mm finderscope.  If you know this or can
direct me to info I would appreciate it
 
Thanks
 
Dave
Mike here: Unlike with my 8" LX200-ACF, I have not personally measured the finderscope on my ETX telescopes. But according to the product page on the OPT web site, the FOV is 7.5 degrees.
Subject:	request for advice on zoom eyepieces
Sent:	Saturday, October 30, 2010 14:52:40
From:	JAMES GAUGE (jamesgauge@btinternet.com)
i have visited your site several times and think it is excellent.
i have a request i would like to know what you think of zoom eyepieces.
i have an etx70 and have trouble refocussing when moving from a low
power to a higher power one as i have rheumatoid arthritis which makes
my fingers unusable sometimes,
i was wondering if i should get a zoom eyepiece or make my other
eyepieces parfocal.
your advice would be gratefully appreciated.
many thanks
jim
Mike here: Zoom eyepieces can be very useful. They can also yield slightly less (or a lot less) image quality than non-zoom eyepieces. Check the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page for comments on some zoom eyepieces. With the ETX-70, you should check whether any zoom eyepiece will reach a focus, given the limited travel focus. If you already have several other eyepieces that you like, making them parfocal may be a better choice, and will certainly cost less.

And:

that's what i call a quick response many thanks for your advice.
clear skies
jim

Subject:	I am buying a used ETX125 PE and would like your opinion.
Sent:	Wednesday, October 27, 2010 20:39:11
From:	Mike Slater (jmikeslater@yahoo.com)
I am considering buying a used Meade ETX125 PE, can you please give me
some tips on what to check out before buying it. I have read numerous
horror stories about stripped gears and am wondering if Meade has since
corrected the issue being that most of the post I see are at least a few
years old. Secondly, if I do indeed have this problem, has anyone came
up with a repair kit to fix it versus sending it back to Meade and
getting on that merry-go-round, or should I say Meade-Go-Round.

I am sure you are very busy and I appreciate any info/help you can
forward my way, thanks for your time.

Mike Slater
Mike here: First, see the article "Purchasing a Used Telescope" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page for some basic advice. Any telescope (or car or lots of other devices) can have stripped gears due to abuse. A well cared for telescope will not have these problems. The PE models are relatively new and so had the advantage of improved components. If you do decide there are problems, Dr. Clay Sherrod offers a "Supercharge Tune-Up" service (see the link on the ETX Site home page).

And:

Yes I found that section after I emailed you, I feel like a tool. Sorry
to bother you. Lol.

Thanks for the GREAT site!

Mike 

Subject:	RE: Meade ETX-60AT accessory
Sent:	Monday, October 18, 2010 21:47:40
From:	Ovidiu Ifrim (cifrim15@hotmail.com)
Just to let you know, CNC says they don't make one. I guess I'm up the creek.
Mike here: Not necessarily. You can easily make one. There are several articles on piggyback adapters on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.
Subject:	[none]
Sent:	Friday, October 15, 2010 09:17:57
From:	RICHARD BIRCH (richardbirch@bellsouth.net)
I got the power supply today fro ScopeStuff.  I am keeping my fingers
crossed.  I will let you know.  Also still working on the MySky solution
for tripod mount.
    Take care,
      Rick
Mike here: Good. By the way, you DID read the Electronic Mail Etiquette item, right? Please follow it. Thanks for understanding.
Subject:	Meade ETX-60AT accessory
Sent:	Thursday, October 14, 2010 16:05:13
From:	Ovidiu Ifrim (cifrim15@hotmail.com)
Hi there, do you sell Meade accessories?  I am looking for a Scopetronix
piggyback adapter for a Meade ETX-60AT. Thanks!

 -Ovidiu
Mike here: As noted on the ETX Site home page (Notes section), I am not a dealer for any accessories. As to Scopetronix, you might want to look over the Editorial Page on the ETX Site.

And:

Thanks for the fast reply. I'll try that CNC site.

Subject:	Cassiopeia Observatory
Sent:	Tuesday, October 12, 2010 13:32:06
From:	RICHARD BIRCH (richardbirch@bellsouth.net)
I'm on you web site right now looking around some more and went to the
observatory link.  What a beautiful observatory!  Looking at the photos
and is that you with the Edmund 3" reflector?  I still have my first
telescope too, and parts to a 6" reflector from high school that we
never finished.  Was going to make a dob out of it but I lost my job a
year and a half ago (that's why I want to save money on batteries) and
can't spend too much money right now.  Wish I lived closer to you.  I
live on the east coast of Florida just below the Space Center.  I hope
you don't mind me writing to you.  I apologize.
      Rick
Mike here: Thanks. Yep, that is me from several years (decades) ago. And thanks for looking at the Observatory. I was last in Florida in 1985 while working on the Space Shuttle Program for the Air Force. Actually, I was there several times between 1980 and 1985, while in the Air Force and then as a contractor. I never made it for a launch; I was supposed to go for the next launch after Challenger flew. But, after the accident, the contract was cancelled as the Air Force lost interest in flying on the Shuttle.

And:

I can see the launches from my backyard.  I moved down here in 1984. 
Stayed with my friend up in Titusville for about a month then moved
down to Palm Bay because of my job at Harris Semiconductor.  Worked
there (it changed name in 1999 to Intersil) for almost 25 years.  Going
nuts right now because I'm 54 and get nailed by the government if I
take any money out of my 401k.  No jobs, no work.........   Sad time
when Challenger blew up.  I have seen all the shuttle launches except
for a couple of them.  Sadly they are going away after such a long time
(talk about decades).  I've seen a bunch of other launches too.  I even
came down for the Apollo/ Soyuz launch back in the 1970s when I lived
in Pensacola. I have loved Astronomy/ Space almost all of my life.  I
wish I could get more people interested in Astronomy.  My friend bought
a small reflector at the beginning of the year and hasn't even used it
yet.   Rick
Mike here: I did see an Atlas launch back in the 1960s when I came down to Florida on an AFROTC trip. Saw a few launches from Vandenberg AFB while I lived in the Los Angeles area. Bummer about no job. I had the opportunity to retire early and I took it.
Subject:	Re: Unattached Deflector / ETX-90EC /HELP?
Sent:	Monday, October 11, 2010 11:18:40
From:	Jeffrey Prosser (jpmac57@me.com)
This ETX 90 EC was supposed to be fixed by an acquaintance. It never
happened and I packed it away until a rainy day. Does your company or
someone you know have the capability to make "re-attache the baffle"?

If you are interested, please let me know the approximate cost and how
to ship to you.

Thanks!
Jeffrey Prosser
Mike here: You can try either Meade (who may or may not repair it) or Dr. Clay Sherrod (see the Supercharge Tune-Up Service link on the ETX Site home page).

And:

Thanks! I do not want to send it to Meade so I will try Dr. Sherrod!

Jeffrey Prosser

Subject:	Motor Fault
Sent:	Monday, October 11, 2010 09:32:09
From:	Jim Wilmott (Jwilmott@onelegal.com)
I'm totally a new beginner to astronomy and started to work my 125 ETX 
and I got a motor fault error. Put new batteries in same error. The
scope slews on the horizontal but it looks like the error happens when
it starts to slew vertically.
 
Thanks for your help
 
Jim
Mike here: Several things to try: Reverse the HBX cable connections. If you can get to the RESET option on the AutoStar menu, try that. Unplug the AutoStar for several minutes, then reconnect it and power on the ETX. Reload the AutoStar ROM (you may have to use the SAFE LOAD procedure).
Subject:	ETX/ DS power supply issues
Sent:	Monday, October 11, 2010 07:09:55
From:	RICHARD BIRCH (richardbirch@bellsouth.net)
Sorry to bother you again.  I wrote to you about the focuser issue on my
ETX back in March.  You might not remember me.  I have another question
that you might help me with.  I have been looking for AC power supplies
for my ETX-60AT (Meade #546) and my DS-114EC (Meade #541).  The 541 is
no longer available and saw the message on you web site where someone
burnt out the motors on his ETX with one.  I was going to buy a 546 but
I'm having second thoughts now.  I am good with electronics but wanted
to ask you about this issue.

I have other power supplies but all of them are unregulated too.  I saw
a few power supplies when I was on your site but didn't really find any
about AC power supplies.  The ETX-60 uses (6AA) 9v and the DS-114 uses
(10AA) 15v.  I looked on a web site for the 546 and zoomed in on the
photo and the label on the supply said the output was 12v.  The 541 was
also 12v.  Why the discrepancy?  If someone burned out their motors with
a 12v 541 that shot up to over 15v.  What would happen to an ETX-60 that
uses a 546 rated at 12v that's unregulated and goes to say 15v and the
scope only needs 9v.  I wouldn't think amps would have anything to do
with the issue. The 541 and 546 aren't switching adapters are they?

Again..... sorry to bother you,
              Rick
Mike here: First, please use the etx@me.com email address for ETX and DS telescope emails. Please see the Submittal Guidelines on the ETX Site. Thanks for understanding.
Meade has a Universal Power Supply which will work. The #546 was a 12VDC, as you noted, and that's OK for the ETX-60. I recently purchased a 12VDC power adapter from Scopestuff (http://scopestuff.com/ss_ps12.htm) for my LX200-ACF. Works fine. It is designed for several telescopes, including the ETX. Of course, you'll need to make an adapter for the connector plug since the ETX-60 (and ETX-70 and ETX-80) does not have an external power source connector.

And:

Thank you for writing back so soon.  So I should send all of your email
to etx@me.com so it will go on your web site so other user can see it? 
I noticed you posted the other emails I sent you back in March.
      Rick
Mike here: I probably didn't notice the mis-directed email back then. See the Submittal Guidelines.

And:

 I have been trying to reach the scopestuff guys at the web site you
 told me about.  Phone is busy.  I never ordered anything from them. 
 Wanted to ask them a few questions.
    Rick
Mike here: I've only ordered from the web site, never talked to a real person there.

And:

After you told me about the power supply there was no answer at
scopestuff.  I tried again today and an answering machine came on.  I
have been on the web and phone trying to get some information (with
conflicting results).  Do you know anyone who has used the scopestuff
with a ETX60 of 70?  The scopestuff one is probably like the Meade
#07584.  A three of the power supplies put out 12v but the amps are more
than the #546.  The rep. at Meade was useless.  He didn't know what to
say when I told him they all had 12v and that I had put an on and off
switch on my DS-114 because it didn't have one.

I just don't want to burn up the motors in the ETX because it is so
small.
     Take care,
          Rick 
Mike here: You can search the ETX Site for "Scopestuff". It is a small company that does a lot of business with telescope owners. That's all I know.

And:

I might end up building the power supplies by myself.  Called
Astronomics about the Meade one and they said don't use it for the ETX. 
Optics Planet told me yesterday it was ok to use it......go figure. 
Scanned through your web site and looked at all the ETX-60/70 stuff to
get an idea abut how to go about things.  I used to work at Radio Shack
a long time ago and was building things left and right.  Just worried
about the specs on the adapters.  They don't give too much information. 
Everyone wants "plug'n play" stuff these days and nobody knows anything
(Like the Meade rep.)
       Thanks,
             Rick

And:

Just got off the telephone with Meade again and they said don't use the
07584 for the DS-114!  This is driving me nuts............guy at Meade
didn't couldn't even find the specs. for the DS-114.

And an update:

I finally bit the bullet and got a hold of Jim at Scopestuff and asked
him some questions and he said the power supply he had would work with
both the ETX and the DS.  He verified what I thought that the power
supply will only put out the amps the equipment draws.  I should have it
by the weekend.  So now all I have to deal with is the rain, wind and
clouds we get down here.  I'm going to keep my fingers crossed.  Are the
motors hard to replace in the small ETXs?
        Rick
Mike here: Glad you solved that problem. As to replacing the motors, that depends on how you define "hard"; certainly you have to disassemble the telescope mount, with all that entails. There are many articles on Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page that can help.
Subject:	Can a LNT smartfinder module be installed on an ETX125EC ?
Sent:	Thursday, October 7, 2010 06:42:51
From:	George Stonebreaker (gstonebreaker@yahoo.com)
Thanks for such a great and helpful site. I have an ETX125EC and I am
wondering if I can add an LNT smart finder with a coiled cord to my
system and if my 125 EC would recognize it and allow it to work as it
should. I hate to buy a unit and then find out it will not work. I am
good at modifying mounts so that is not a problem, but the electronics
and computer compatibility is way beyond me, What do you recommend I do?
Thanks and  keep on looking up.
GeorgeStonebreaker
Fort Smith Arkansas
Mike here: You'll find some articles on adding the LNT to non-LNT telescopes on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	ETX 125 EC Vertical Drive Train Repair
Sent:	Tuesday, October 5, 2010 11:35:06
From:	Jody_Kurtzhalts@yaskawa.com (Jody_Kurtzhalts@yaskawa.com)
I have a ETX 125 EC telescope that is approximately 8 years old.  The
vertical drive train has fail. Sounds like a gear failure.  The motor
runs but nothing moves. Can you recommend a company that can fix this
problem?

Thank you for your help,

Jody
Mike here: If the vertical lock is what has failed, you may be able to fix it yourself. See the article of the Right Tube Adapter fix on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Alternatively, contact Meade; they may or may not repair it. You could also contact Dr Clay Sherrod for his Supercharge Tune-Up (link on the ETX Site home page).
Subject:	Meade sent my EXT 125EC back without repair!
Sent:	Monday, October 4, 2010 11:22:08
From:	James Grimes (rixner6@comcast.net)
It has been a while since I corresponded with you about my EXT 125EC
which I had shipped off to Meade for repair. You informed me about some
of the models that would not be repaired by Meade, and I had made
several calls to there techs to make sure and after describing the
bushings and gears in the one fork arm, they assured me my model would
be accepted and repaired.  I informed them I had attempted to fix it
myself, and was unsuccessful, and that it was in pieces, that I had
taken it apart, but that nothing was damaged, or physically broken. All
the fasteners and screws were there, and should I put it back together.
They said NO, package it up securely and send it. I did, and it cost me
over $100 bucks. After they received it, I noticed they had billed my
Visa for $165 dollars, just as they said they would. Last week, I
received an e-mail informing me my repaired scope was shipped, and I
should receive it in 5 to 7 days. Today I did, and the packing slip
informed me that it was not repaired because I had attempted to fix it
myself, and it was taken apart. I was furious, and called immediately 
and spoke to someone in customer service. I requested a tech, and the
voice told me they could help. They didn't, and just repeated what was
on the invoice. I requested to speak to some one above him, and after a
minute or so, another person got on the line and said he was the
manager, and that nothing could be done. I stated this was unacceptable,
and wrong, that this was all so unprofessional. You folks built this
scope, and the fact that it was taken apart, and nothing was damaged,
you should be able to put it together blindfolded. I am outraged, and
this is no way to deal with any customer. Here I am, with a damaged
scope which when I put it together, it is not going to operate properly
at all. This is why our country is taking a back seat to everyone else
in many, many, product fields. I am ashamed of Meade, and will have no
dealings with them in the future. I wanted to let you know about my
situation, and thanks for being a sounding board..............Jim Grimes
Mike here: Sorry to hear about your experience. I guess I'm not surprised they wouldn't repair a disassembled telescope. I suggest writing a letter to them, with s copy to your credit card company, explaining your initial conversations with them and what happened.
Subject:	ETX 105 Case
Sent:	Friday, October 1, 2010 07:04:21
From:	twinpolar (twinpolar@yahoo.com)
I have an aluminum Meade case for an ETX 90 PE MAK.  I searched your tec
tips, but was unable to determine if an ETX 105 AT MAK would fit in the
aluminum ETX 90 case I own.
 
Thank you.
 
Scott Drew
Mike here: The ETX-105 is a larger telescope than the ETX-90. I doubt the ETX-105 will fit inside the ETX-90 hard case.

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